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Join date : 2014-05-27
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{Project:Tributary}

on Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:41 pm
So here’s the second of the two ships I had to refit; last one was Dino’s, so now it’s time for J-red’s. I’ve been procrastinating a bit on this, but I’ve finally managed to sit down and write a proper description, so there you go. Razz Now, onto… a carrier or something? Corvettes? IDK… Razz

Cepheus-class Assault Sloop:


Overview:
An offshoot of {Project:Martyr} that birthed the famous Andromeda-class battleship, the cryptically-named {Project:Tributary} was very much a trailblazer. Ever since Operation Omega, much of the PCG officer corps had envisioned the introduction of an “Assault battleship”- lighter capital vessels with good speed and hitting power like battlecruisers, without sacrificing the ship-to-ship capabilities of more standard battleships. Such vessels would be designed to be the sword of any fleet, outrunning or outmaneuvering anything they couldn’t outfight, even if they failed to be widely available.
   Unfortunately, that criteria was far easier said than done; with current techniques, there would be no way to maintain each requirement while simultaneously keeping costs non-prohibitive. A compromise was eventually reached with the introduction of the Paladin-class -a vessel smaller than some liked, even if it’s supreme maneuverability hardly went unnoticed- but high manufacturing expenses precluded wide-scale introduction. After some petitioning from a group of determined young fleet officers, the PCG Council authorized the design and production of what would become the Cepheus-class Assault Sloop.
   The Cepheus was, by and large, a prototype for future vessels- crews complained of spartan conditions and commanders complained of low durability (though both were largely silenced when the comparatively barren glass-cannon of the Reaper-class gained prominence). Despite it’s unpopularity, however, Cepheus’ proved relatively cost-effective; even its most vocal critics conceded that it got the job done, more often than not.
   Nevertheless, the Cepheus was still received significant flak for its various technical issues and perceived lack of defensive systems. Between this and major manufacturing issues rising up while most vessels of the class were still under construction, very relatively few vessels were ever manufactured; many of the necessary drydocks were commandeered for emergency construction or repair for the ongoing Cor Redor Incursion, leaving several unfinished hulls mothballed. By the time adequate facilities once again became available, the war was essentially over, and {Project:Quicksilver} had already come to fruition, rendering the completion of further vessels largely a moot point.


Design History and Details:
   The emergence of the first Spectres caused a radical rethinking of capital ship specifications among many a design bureau and think tank. The destruction of the PCG's greatest vessels in the blink of an eye, combined with the rising use of starfighters by many pirate groups before and after, made many believe that the age of large, hulking capital ships was over- much like aircraft carriers had replaced naval battleships hundreds of years earlier, these behemoths were thought to soon be outmoded due to the changing conditions of war, replaced by lighter heavy cruisers and fast battleships while supercarriers did the majority of the heavy lifting.
   However, those rushing to ring the battleship's death knell overlooked one thing: it's easier to add anti-air guns than to properly add and integrate more engines. Although there were some advances in the area of light, mobile capital assets -such as the Paladin- and Andromeda-classes- the topic was soon largely dropped with the introduction of the modern supercruiser and the continued advancement of both multirole and specialist heavy capital vessels, as well as the necessary screening vessels to support them.
   The topic rose again to significance during what are known as the Privateer Wars, the general term for a period where the PCG refocused to combat the rising tide of pirate vessels operating in or near friendly space Post-OO. In many of these engagements, the PCG’s larger capital vessels proved surprisingly ineffective against the various rogue elements arrayed against them, primarily due to their lack of mobility and the enemy’s employment of hit-and-fade tactics. Though obviously still effective against hostile fleets, it was evident that the PCG’s superheavy standard-faire were not quite the jack-of-all-trades vessels they were made out to be. In the resulting soulsearching among the capital-design corps., the Assault battleship concept soon gained a revival. It was marketed as the spearhead of the fleet, the foehammer with which any of the PCG’s armadas could strike down all who opposed them. For this role, a new vessel was needed- a ship that was versatile, capable of hitting hard, possess the maneuverability and speed of a ship half it’s size, and come with a practical price tag.
   Herein lay the issue: such a vessel was, from an engineering standpoint, utterly impractical. The design techniques simply didn’t exist to build what amounted to, in many’s eyes, a larger and somewhat more well-rounded destroyer.
   Still, even when the idea began to lose momentum, a small but dedicated cadre of officers kept the concept alive- successfully petitioning the Council to investigate the future possibilities and effectiveness of such a design. To that effect, the Council ordered the beginning of {Project:Quicksilver}- a project which, almost immediately, ran into the exact issues countless engineers had already singled out. Simply put, there was no precedent of combining all the necessary factors into a vessel this large, resulting in the team quickly going overbudget with relatively little to show for it. Unsure of what to do, the project head made a plea directly to the Council themselves: what her team needed was a testbed, a forerunner, something to test the waters- if nothing else, prove the new structural integrity fields and weapon platforms would hold. One thing lead to another, and before long, {Project:Tributary} was resurrected from its 3-year-prior cancellation, with the objective of producing a class of combat-ready vessels integrating most of the proposed design’s more experimental features on a smaller scale- allowing for many issues to be ironed out within a more “controlled” environment before {Project:Quicksilver} itself was rolled out of the yard.
   One of future-Cepheus’ unique traits is what has become known as “monohull construction”: instead of gamma-wielding many smaller hull sections together, much of the hull was instead composed of several macrostructures- allowing for greater tensile strength and endurance for a relatively light frame. This was further supported by an unusually-dense network of strategically-placed internal supports and load-bearing mechanisms, resulting in a structure somewhat less durable than standard hulls while simultaneously being harder to manufacture and repair- but also able to absorb much greater shocks with up to 65% less mass in some areas when compared to a standard design. Consequently, the Cepheus proved able to weather torpedo and kinetic barrages much more effectively than contemporary vessels, while maintaining superior maximum velocity and acceleration- both key features for a frontline strike ship. In order to counteract the difficulties in repair and maintenance, it was also fitting with a light nanorepair suite, capable of moderate self-maintenance and even limited in-combat hull repair (though software issues meant the system didn’t always work as intended).
   Perhaps the monohull’s greatest upside, however, was that the additional shock-absorbency allowed for the addition of more macroweapons and kinetic weapons than normal- the Cepheus was hardly short on teeth, especially against enemy hulls. In order to best leverage this, the designers also provided a healthy set of EMP torpedoes, designed to quickly disrupt hostile shielding- allowing the ship to bring its full firepower to bear (though they could still be used to partially or fully disable a target, as usual). These were further bolstered with a balanced selection of long-, medium-, and short-range armaments, ranging from cruise missiles to quantum phasers, allowing it to engage almost all types of targets effectively. Indeed, one of the Cepheus’ few attributes to gain widespread praise was it’s high hitting power- though, when combined with the aforementioned sub-par hull strength, also gave the vessel somewhat of a reputation for being unable to take it as well as it could dish it out.
   Seeing as mobility would become an integral part of the Assault battleship doctrine, heavy emphasis was placed on speed and acceleration. Almost the entire rear is occupied by a pair of massive impulse engines; although their sheer size reduces total thrust vectoring, resulting in actually lower maneuverability, they also allow the vessel to rapidly reach its high maximum velocity (a concept that would later be put to good use in ships like the Zoeker patrol frigate). This was further enhanced by the monohull, which reduced mass (as already mentioned) and allowed the structural integrity field to refocus towards maintaining hull integrity during bursts of acceleration.
   Easily one of the Cepheus’ more controversial design decisions was the use of a hardened covariant shielding array instead of the much more common regenerative type; though this significantly increased the overall shielding strength, it also significantly raised the ARP, which translated to less staying power. The justification for this was that the Cepheus was a prototype for the Assault Battleship concept, which were not designed to combat and defeat other capital vessels toe-to-toe in protracted engagements like other capital vessels; they were there to provide relatively mobile capital-level firepower where needed, with emphasis on speed over protection. Typical, lengthy exchanges-of-blows were better suited to standard battleships and dreadnoughts; assault battleships would go in, smack the enemy around, and then pull out, leaving any remaining threat forces to be eliminated by other fleet elements.


Service History:
   As mentioned previously, work began on two series of Cepheus-class -one with warp rings, and the other with warp nacelles- in order to compare the efficiency; whichever proved more effective would be used in {Project:Quicksilver}. However, before any vessels could be completed, the Cor Redor struck Galdron IV- the event that marks the beginning the first Incursion. All slated Cepheuses were immediately canceled, and those under construction were greatly accelerated. Warp-nacelled variants -referred to as the Niobe subclass- were quickly converted into warp-ringed Cepheuses in order to standardize construction.
   It soon became apparent that maintenance and mechanical issues were legion, a combined product of accelerated construction, rushed shakedown cruises, and the vessel’s experimental nature. In an incident that would be comical if not for its seriousness, the PCG Cepheus -during the class’ first encounter with the Cor Redor- suffered from a major heat sink malfunction, resulting in it being completely unable to fire almost any of it’s weapons and severely burning several crewmen after the opening volley. It took several months to iron out many of the major issues, though some continued to persist throughout the First Incursion. This is partially due to the same reason more of the class weren’t produced: all of the vital facilities required to effect the proper changes were vastly backlogged with higher-priority construction or repair. As a result, many crews simply jury-rigged hotfixes or workarounds to the glaring issues- though the fruits of their labor were generally less-than-ideal.
   Crew morale onboard a Cepheus was less than average. In addition to most of the major systems being rather finicky, crew quarters were often sparse at best, and recreational areas were minimized. Though not a major cause, the vessel’s lack of survivability no doubt compounded the problems- especially when Cor Redor forces began focusing them down once they realized the vessel’s potential for offensive output.
   Still, when the ship did work, it worked wonders. The Cepheus could easily keep up with anything it needed to pursue, and it’s destructive potential was nothing short of awesome when fully unleashed. Several Cepheus’ working together could easily destroy several capital vessels in a matter of minutes by focusing their frontal firepower on one enemy at a time. Even without others of its kind, the Cepheus proved quite a threat- especially for enemies that couldn’t penetrate its covariant shielding.
   Still, the Cepheus never saw widespread deployment; by the time sufficient drydock space was once again available, the war was essentially won, rendering further vessels unnecessary. Furthermore, by that point, {Project:Quicksilver} had already reached the frontlines- and though it only saw limited service, it was clearly superior in the original intended role. Three of the more incomplete hulls- the Cetus, Tegea, and Phineus- were finished, with major modification to account for many of the issues their sister vessels had encountered; the rest were scrapped.


Summary:
   Despite countless technical issues, overall unpopularity, and a noted lack of defenses, the Cepheus was a fast and powerful heavy-hitter. Unfortunately, fate ordained the vessel would never see a proper production run, as several looming threats forced PCG command to switch out the necessary production facilities towards other projects; by the time production could recommence, better vessels were already becoming widespread.

Spoiler:


So as I said, this is a refit of one of J-red’s ships; we said we would each refit one of the other two’s, but so far, I’m the only one who appears to have done that. Razz Obviously, it’s based off the Andromeda, which is probably his most well-known ship; I can only hope I did it justice. Smile Razz Seeing as it’s based off his ship, J-red will receive one Cepheus, the PCG Cetus, as his own, to do with as he pleases. (For the record, this also means I’ll retroactively be providing Dino with one a Tenshin- namely, the PCG Obránce). Have fun!
   This one’s been sitting here for a while now. Razz I meant to get this up about a month ago (if not earlier), but I ended up procrastinating on the description, and then there were finals and… yeah, I’ve been a bit busy. Razz Please, tell me what you think of the stats;l I’ve been trying to find a good ”baseline” or whatever, but one guy can only do so much. Razz
   As far as the actual design is concerned: unlike the Tenshin, this one shares some pieces with the original. Razz I tend to avoid that, simply because I fear it’ll end up looking too similar, but I think I’ve avoid the issue this time (the warp ring helped Razz). I was a little concerned about the lack of larger weapons (couldn’t find anywhere to put’em on), but I’m starting to think it’s fine, so IDK. Razz Honestly, not much else to say; maybe it’s just been a while, but I can’t think of anything else I really wanna point out about the model itself...


Stats:
  -Classification: PCLP (Sloop)
  -Role: Heavy pursuit craft, fast cruiser, assault, tactical maneuvers
  -Armaments: 22 phaser banks, 26 quantum phaser banks, 12 turbolaser banks, 10 phaser cannons, 8 turbolaser batteries, 2 turbophaser batteries, 12 plasma cannons, 13 standard torpedo tubes, 1 torpedo bay, 10 EMP torpedo tubes, 4 tricobalt torpedo tubes, 10 railguns, 8 gauss cannons, 1 tetryon cannon, 1 minelaying pod, 4 ion cannons, 5 Archer missile pods
  -Shielding: Hardened Covariant single-layered; 4 Type 3 Λ-sequence emitters, 4 type 3 Ψ-sequence emitters; Rated to 85 x 10^6 tJ/JC capacity; ARP: 46 seconds | Standard cruiser-scale deflector array; rated 11 x 10^6 tJ/JC capacity; ARP: 7 seconds
  -Armor: Monohull Tritanium-Tetraburnium Nitrous alloy; Titanium-Duranium composite weave throughout; Tungsten-reinforced superstructure | 6.45" ablative standard; 10.32" near key area
  -Dimensions:
      -Length: 750 meters
      -Beam: 320 meters
      -Draft: 165 meters
      -Mass: 3,705,000 metric tons
  -Impulse: 2 heavy impulse drives | impulse rating 14; acceleration rating 13, maneuver rating 6
  -Warp: 1x Dnieper warp ring; MCW: 8.32; MEW: 9.76
  -Sensory/Comms: Standard-ranged sensors | Standard comms equipment
  -Crew: 150 officers, 450 crew | 14 shuttle pilots, 76 strike craft pilots.
  -Strike Craft: 9 Valkyrie shuttles, 1 Hercules heavy shuttles, 2 squadrons Battleaxe fighters, 1 squadron Stallion bombers
  -Ammo: 1050 standard torpedo casings, 2250 railguns shells, 2560 gauss shells, 2750 standard strike craft munitions
  -Assault: 245 marines, 39 Tempest hardsuits
  -Other: Light nanorepair suite, Monohull construction


Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vre6clq644acr08/PCG%20Cepheus%20-%20Andromeda%20Class%20Refit%20%28J-Red%29.lxf?dl=0

Comments/criticism/questions/concerns are welcome, as always!

(Sorry for the size; this is how it came out of Google Docs, and i couldn't be bothered to change it Razz)


Last edited by Tetrahedron on Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:55 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Editing purposes!)

_________________
~Tetrahedron the Deceiver, Locutus of Geometry, Chief Librarian of the Phoenix, Mathematical Bloodletter, First Captain of Vanguard Fleet


Meanwhile, on the chat....
Arik wrote:I'm ready to get back to worldbuilding now... Razz

Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

Star-Hunter wrote:"He might kill us with his cow bombs."
I'll take phrases I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime for $500
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Re: {Project:Tributary}

on Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:12 pm
Mighty, that is AWESOME! Very Happy 

The description is long... insanely long... me writing multiple characters long... ( Razz ) but everything in that loooooong description is VERY GOOD! Very Happy 

The ship itself is awesome! I love the concept, the history, and all the info! Very Happy 

My ONE issue with it would be the multi-colored weapons around forward edge of the saucer. (And I know that, like me, you like to have a system for showing the weapons that are in your model I totally understand that.) 

Anyways, I LOVE this ship! It looks like a baby Potomac class (my half Saint G sized super-cruiser.)



Great work! Very Happy

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Re: {Project:Tributary}

on Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:53 am
I quite like this ship; this is probably one of my favorite ships you've designed. The warp ring especially makes it quite unique although I suggest you strengthen the ventral "pylon".

While I agree with Dino on the multi-colored weapons, like he said, I understand why, so it's not a big deal. I especially like the SNOT hull, though I suggest smoothing it out a bit more. I would also strengthen the "pylon" connecting the dorsal hull to that underside saucer thingy.

Overall, excellent ship, as I said earlier, definitely one of my favorite ships you've built. It has a few flaws, but most of them are practical rather than aesthetic issues. I really do like the streamlined shape. Very Happy

Like Dino said, great description; I like the background information you gave. It makes it seem more realistic and gives it more depth. Very Happy

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Re: {Project:Tributary}

on Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:15 pm
Dino: Yes, long descriptions are kinda becoming my thing (which is somewhat disturbing, considering how long it takes to write them, but whatevs Razz)...

Now that you mention it, I'm starting to see how the frontal weapon coloration could be distracting... still, I can't think of anything that could change that, sans abandoning the system entirely. Hmm.

Hey, it does look like the Potomac! Thinking back to it, I was probably subconsciously (or consciously?) influenced by the design, so that would explain that. Razz

Thanks!

PXR: I don't really see any way to fix the pylon-thickness issues without major alterations to the aesthetic; basically, I couldn't make it look good. Razz Yeah, streamlined is the general idea I was going for; thanks! Razz

S-H: Good to hear I pulled off the "really aggressive" aesthetic well. Razz Yeah, I absolutely see what you're getting at with clutter- though, as I said to Dino, I can't imagine a good fix. =/

Thanks a lot! Razz

_________________
~Tetrahedron the Deceiver, Locutus of Geometry, Chief Librarian of the Phoenix, Mathematical Bloodletter, First Captain of Vanguard Fleet


Meanwhile, on the chat....
Arik wrote:I'm ready to get back to worldbuilding now... Razz

Tetrahedron wrote:I'm not sure if we should interrupt Ant like this...
He might kill us with his cow bombs

Star-Hunter wrote:"He might kill us with his cow bombs."
I'll take phrases I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime for $500
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